Immunotherapies that take advantage of our T cells have led to remarkable benefits in many types of advanced cancers. But they don’t work in many cases because tumors create hostile microenvironments that suppress T cells and keep them in a dysfunctional state. This includes a metabolic barrier that deprives T cells of essential nutrients, which Dr. Oh is now investigating.
In particular, she’s exploring how the lack of key nutrients required for tRNAs might impact T cells’ ability to produce proteins. She seeks to define how tRNAs are modified (and by what enzymes), and to determine how different metabolic environments affect tRNA modifications and protein production in T cells. Ultimately, her discoveries could reveal new targets to go after to improve the effectiveness of cancer immunotherapy.
Projects and Grants
Identifying the Role of tRNA Modifications in T Cells as a Translational Checkpoint in Metabolically Rewired Tumors
Yale University | All Cancers | 2021 | Richard, Flavell, Ph.D.
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